I am not sure where to begin, though this is long overdue and has run marathons in my mind for a long time. The pain is often times breath taking, yet I have marched forward to this persistent and defiant beat, just a pace off the drumming of my heart.
I am a mother of addicts. You have no idea how it humbles me to say those words. I have hid from them for years. I fought them when it all began over ten years ago. The fact that there is more than ‘one’ addict completely frightens me, but I can no longer hide from the truth. If any part of this is my failure, then I realize I have to own it and move forward.
Of course, there is always that optimistic soul out there who won’t understand the impact fear has on a broken mother’s heart. I have heard it over and over again- it’s their choice. Perhaps, but they are my children.
Heroin, alcohol, pot- how did we get here? It feels strange as I never really drank, maybe an occasional drink a couple times a year, usually something fruity and meant for college girls on spring break. I never tried any drug, never even smoked cigarettes. The thought of needing any type of anecdote to fix me was not an option. I saw what alcohol and drugs did when I was growing up, and I wanted no part of it.
I was given Ambien sleeping pills once. I took one, then two, then three. They turned me into some sort of talking vegetable, which then got me locked up in a mental hospital. Turns out my inability to speak gave people the idea that I took more than three at a time. Then there were the pain meds for kidney stones. I didn’t abuse them in quantity, but I used them nightly beyond my pain. I had no reason to take them other than to be so knocked out and numb, I actually enjoyed sleeping. I have my reasons for hating to sleep at night, but that’s not what I’m discussing here.
Back to my kids..
They are adults now. One has been in jail or prison for 10 years off and on. One has been fighting alcoholism for a few years, there was some prescription medication in there too. One thinks everyone in the world should use pot, that it’s normal and should not be treated any different than the water he drinks.
I sit here with worry that makes me sick to my stomach. I wake up in the middle of night with this dread and fear in the center of my being. If my phone rings, I feel a little buzz in my chest we call ‘anxiety’, if my phone doesn’t ring, I feel the exact same thing. When I can’t reach one of them, or don’t hear back, I sit for hours staring and praying they are ok.
And I keep going, I keep living, just as soon as I can keep breathing.
A part of me is missing- the part that should be planning for post parenthood, traveling, getting to know my husband all over again as we begin a chapter in life we’ve never lived. But I can’t find her. She’s lost in the chaos and clutter she never created. She fears moving out of the shadows of my heart, she’s been safe there, so I don’t blame her. However, if she’s choosing to remain locked away, and if I remain unable to move forward without her, then eventually we must collide somewhere in the middle.
This is my story. I know it’s not unique, there are many out there in the same boat as myself. I pray you are doing better than I am. It’s funny, I spend so much time hiding my truth that I sometimes forget it as my reality.
The one hiding in the shadows, she doesn’t hide because she is brave or scared. She hides because it is the only place she can safely dream and look ahead. The day we meet will be a truly wonderful day.
Positive thought: my oldest son is doing life well!